As TVA scrambles to repair recent safety concerns, Nuclear Regulatory Commission records show that Bellefonte's construction license didn't have full NRC support when the federal regulator's commission members approved the 37-year-old lapsed license several months ago.
NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko, then just one of the commissioners, wrote: "There is an inherent danger in ignoring this obvious fact. Licenses exist for a purpose. We use them to fulfill our statutory mandate of protecting the public health and safety."
In the past week, Jaczko has been on the ropes of a political battle brewing over his management of the nation's nuclear regulator: He maintains that a complacent industry and agency need to move more quickly to ensure safety at the nation's aging nuclear plants.